Doing Well by Doing Good
HealthEdge CEO Steve Krupa and I both graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklin, who founded the institution that became the University of Pennsylvania, advised Americans to “do well by doing good,” an early and broad expression of stakeholders. He founded the Colonies’ first subscription library, a volunteer fire department, and a property and casualty insurance company to spread catastrophic risk along with founding his adopted colony’s leading educational institution. It was a mix of profit and non-profits exhibiting an advanced view of how individual success and the success of your community are inextricably tied together.
Historically, there has been a view that in order to do good for society, one must work for a non-profit, work in government, take a vow of poverty, or work in some bureaucracy. However, business is also part of the answer to creating social change.
Through Wharton and its other schools, UPenn has begun to offer programs to build the skills for social entrepreneurship, where students can learn how to develop business plans for both non-profit and for-profit ventures that contribute to social change.
Dr. Ariel Schwartz, Post-Doctor Fellow at UPenn’s Center for Social Impact Strategy, said, “the activity of any sustained venture—a business, a non-profit, a government, a university—has an effect on the world. And the effect of any organized action that systematically engages with the market or a group of people in society can be positive or negative…With careful planning, any venture in any sector can use its financial, social, technological, and knowledge resources to leave a lasting systematic positive mark on the world.”
HealthEdge values social entrepreneurship and aligns our company’s goals with what is good for society to contribute to positive social change through our business. We recognize that capitalism and social equity can work together to make the world a better place.
An example of someone who is doing well by doing good is Ric Geyer, my former grad school housemate, and fellow Wharton alum. Ric created a for-profit venture, Triangle Arts, that supports social change in Macon, Georgia.
HealthEdge promoted our values by promoting and sponsoring Triangle Arts and its mission at a recent Wharton Graduate School reunion program. The video and subsequent speech were intended to make people aware of social entrepreneurship and social ventures. Passionate about building strong communities, Ric has held various urban development roles in both Detroit and Atlanta.
Most recently, Ric was at the forefront of the urban exodus, moving an hour from Atlanta to Macon, Georgia, a city of about 150,000. While we have seen an increasing amount of people moving out of major urban areas to anything from mid-sized cities to small towns, COVID-19 accelerated this trend.
Recognizing that people still want a sense of community, culture, and connection, Ric’s company, Triangle Arts, brings the arts to Macon and combines with urban redevelopment to revitalize parts of the city with economically challenged populations.
Triangle Art’s mission ties directly to our mission at HealthEdge. Today, Triangle Arts Macon lifts up the voices in the community, creating an environment where people feel both safe and empowered. That uniquely aligns with our vision at HealthEdge, which is to innovate a world where healthcare can focus on people and not process.
At HealthEdge, we’re focused on promoting good health, working with our health plan customers to enable them to be more efficient so they can focus on providing access to quality care and creating healthier communities across the country.
About the Author
John Lopez-Ona, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, HealthEdge
Prior to joining HealthEdge, John led all facets of a boutique consulting firm helping clients maneuver through mergers, rapid expansion, and technological change. His experience includes working at a Big 4 consulting firm and as an internal consultant at a Fortune 500 company covering European and Latin American operations. Additionally, he spent over nine years in investment banking where he helped clients of all sizes and across many industries raise public and private capital to restructure, acquire and grow their companies and over three years investing in private equity for a family office.
John received his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Economics from Franklin & Marshall College and his MBA in Strategic Management and Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.